Mass Effect creators talk details on their upcoming single-player DLC.
BioWare’s answer to the rampant controversy over the ending of the Mass Effect series comes tomorrow in the form of the Extended Cut DLC, meant to “expand on the meaning of the original endings.” The free update adds new cutscenes to the closing moments of the game, as well as an epilogue sequence. However, lead writer Mac Walters and executive producer Casey Hudson are well aware that the downloadable update won’t be enough to make everyone happy.
“You can never completely satisfy everyone,” said Hudson in a BioWare podcast. “We’ve seen a whole range of feedback, ranging from people who wanted a total redo, to people who had concerns and questions about the original endings, to people who loved the original endings and have told us they don’t want us to change anything.”
Since the release of Mass Effect 3 four months ago, the ending has been a topic of heated discussion among fans. Many complained that there wasn’t enough closure for such a long-running series, and others claimed there were numerous plot holes and inconsistent themes. BioWare has been listening.
“When we ended Mass Effect 3, we knew that it was going to be the end of Shepard’s story,” says Walters. “But in our minds and imaginations, the characters are still going to be together…and maybe that didn’t come across, that those characters still had a future and they had a hope going forward.”
“There was some feedback that we can’t address,” Hudson explains. “There are some people who just outright rejected the whole concept of the endings, and wanted us to start from scratch and redo everything. And we can’t do that because that’s not our story; we wouldn’t know how to write that story. What excites us is the challenge of learning how people consume our stories, and we’re trying new ways of telling stories, so it’s a learning process for everybody. And then incorporating that feedback, that’s how we make our work better.”
Hudson goes on to say how thankful the team at BioWare is for intelligent suggestions from the community. “When things are really constructive like that, even when it’s critical, it means a lot to us, because when you think about the artists and writers – all the people here – they work because they’re passionate about games. They’re passionate about making a really great experience for players. So when they get constructive feedback, constructive criticism, they’re really excited about that.”
“There’s no doubt that there will be a whole new wave of discussion and debate, maybe even controversy. But we didn’t do the Extended Cut because we’re trying to make everybody happy, make it perfect – we just saw an opportunity to expand on things that we felt could add value to the experience, for those that appreciate it.”